BOGO: There’s No Shame in Walking

Let me start off by saying, I am not a huge proponent of the run-walk. Because I ran competitively throughout high school, I come from the school of thought that there is NO walking in running. No walk breaks. No stopping to get a drink. No walking up hills. No stopping or slowing down. Period. If you walk at any point during your run, it is not a successful run. Not to mention, it can completely crush your momentum when you stop to walk.

That being said, I may be softening my edge in my older age. I did a run yesterday that made me start to rethink this whole run-walk thing. It may have just been because I had someone to run with (which never happens), or that it was slightly drizzling (which made it fun), or that I really did like the concept of the run-walk.

I knew at the beginning of the run that it would be more of a run-walk. My coworker I was running with is visiting from Florida, so I didn’t blame her for wanting to take some walk breaks. Going from sea level to 7,000 feet can be a little bit of a shock, to say the least. While I was excited to run with her, I didn’t think that I would get in a real workout by run-walking. Well, I could not have been more wrong! I couldn’t believe how sore I woke up this morning. Let me introduce you to what she calls, BOGO.

The Buy One, Get One, which is really B4GO (Buy Four, Get One), goes something like this. Run 1 mile and walk a quarter mile (or five minutes). By the time you have done four intervals of 1 mile running/quarter mile walking, you have run four miles and got an extra mile with walking (bonus!). Before I knew it, we had done 6 miles! Now that could be because there was a lot of good conversation and laughing, but it definitely felt like it made the time go by a little faster. In the moment, it also felt a lot easier. I felt like I could go forever. Suddenly, mileage wasn’t intimidating and hills were nothing to fear, because you knew that a walk break was right around the corner.

According to Jeff Galloway, almost everyone can finish a marathon with some training and following this method. My coworker has followed his programs before from anything from full marathons to 5Ks. She has also been incredibly successful, and uninjured, in doing so. While I might not incorporate walk breaks into most of my runs, I do think that it is a good alternative for those that might have physical reasons for not running the entire distance. This method takes the intimidation factor out for those wanting to get into running, those wishing to cover lots of distance with reduced stress on the body, and those wanting to take it a little easier on a recovery day.

If you have been wanting to lace up those running shoes and hit the road, this could be the perfect way to dip your toe in the water. Don’t be afraid to walk if you need to and even schedule intervals so you have a roadmap for success. Remember the BOGO or B4GO to get the most out runs and increase the mileage without even trying.

Do you run-walk? What do you think about taking walking breaks while you are running?

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